the french mistake
La Cieca hears that at least one of the ultracoolÂ ultraqueer world premieres scheduled for the Met is definitely off the bill.
Peter Gelb has rejected the one-act opera Prima Donna by popster Rufus Wainwright, apparently on the grounds that the Met expected the libretto for an American-commissioned opera to be performed at an American opera house to be in, well, English.Â In point of fact Wainwright wrote the libretto in his native French, or perhaps it would be better to say “in his native sophomore-level French” since the text includes such poetic sallies as “Vous avez dÃ» mal dormir, Madame St Laurent. Avec tout le bruit des prÃ©paratifs du 14 juillet, nous sommes juste Ã cÃ´tÃ© des feux dâ€™artifice. Voulez-vous votre petit-dÃ©jeuner ou du moins du cafÃ©?”
Another line from the libretto, which La Cieca has determined is going to beÂ the catchphrase for the 2008-2009 season, is “Eh bien! que lâ€™atmosphÃ¨re est bizarre!” which, as she thinks you will agree, will come in handy in all sorts of situations.
Anyway, with a Met staging off the table, Wainwright has handed off Prima Donna to the Manchester International Festival, where the work is set for a premiere in the summer of 2009. Le mot dans la rue is that the music is “reminiscent of Massenet,” which given the hothouse ambiance of the libretto doesn’t surprise La Cieca one bit.